A guide to replacing your finance software

If you’ve outgrown your current accounts system or are looking to move on from spreadsheets, replacing your finance software isn’t as hard as you may first think.

Cost effective, efficient and easily implemented, this guide will help you understand the benefits of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, demonstrate the advantages of a cloud based system, and provide you with the questions you need to ask when evaluating your options.

Customer demand vs. business finance software requirement

Shelves of box foldersAs the pace of life gets faster and we find ourselves always “on”, whether that’s shopping online, scrolling through social media or using streaming services via multiple devices, your customer needs and expectations evolve. This can leave your finance and business management systems behind the times, and unable to keep up with demand.

Microsoft research shows that “More than 90% of consumers said they would consider taking their business elsewhere rather than work with a company that uses outdated technology.” (Source: Microsoft-commissioned research among 1,405 consumers, 2013.)

This means that in order to manage increasing demand a modern platform is needed to connect your business to your customer. To do this an ERP solution can:

  • Automatically pull your systems and processes together so your people don’t have to
  • Give you a complete picture across your business, with reports as and when you need them on what you specifically need them about
  • Get you up and running quickly, so change doesn’t get in the way of your day-to-day processes

With Microsoft Dynamics and the Cloud, you can create efficiency across your business processes which in turn helps the organisation leaders make informed decisions, allowing for growth.

Information silos, disconnected systems and manual processes hinder your ability to deliver the service and experience your customers expect, and ultimately put your business at risk. But what solution should you be using, and will it fulfil your needs today as well as tomorrow? Will it be able to meet your goals and/or exceed your expectation for the future?

At some point you will need to consider replacing your finance software.

Signs your finance software or legacy systems are putting your business at risk

Legacy systemsAs your business grows in size and complexity and customers expect better and faster service, the tools that once supported you may no longer do so. For many organisations, deciding to overhaul your finance software or business management systems is a big deal.

However, what may seem like a daunting and difficult task could be the light at the end of the tunnel for your business. Ask yourself what the real cost is of trying to maintain a system that can no longer sustain the demand on your business? Can you continue as you are to maintain the status quo, yet still achieve the growth you desire?

Whether the result is lost sales, customer dissatisfaction, or compliance risks… failing to update your technology can be a costly decision.

Therefore, if you recognise any of the following warning signs, the time has come to make a change:

  • Manual Processes are error prone due to duplication and manual entry, and departments can’t keep up with increasing demand despite added headcount
  • Creating and configuring reports is too complicated and often doesn’t give reliable business intelligence needed
  • Incomplete or incorrect information creates customer dissatisfaction and lost sales
  • Wasting too much time dealing with multiple systems that can’t communicate/transfer data to one another easily
  • Productivity is lost spending valuable time switching back and forth between multiple applications and disconnected systems.

Now you know, what now?

There has never been a better time for an organisation to update their systems, as the Cloud offering has opened up so many opportunities for companies of all shapes and sizes. It is now affordable to expand your capabilities, create greater efficiency and mobility, as well as being prepared for changing business conditions – by using Azure private Cloud, for example.

But with so many technology vendors competing for your attention and subsequent business, it’s tricky working out which solution is the best fit for you.

However, here are some key characteristics to look out for. Differentiators you should be asking for include:

Comprehensive integration

One solution to manage financials, sales, services, and operations, with the ability to connect applications like payroll, banking apps, CRM systems or custom APIs.

Connecting your entire business

Automatically pulls systems and processes together so your people don’t have to.

Automates and secures business processes. Improves productivity and gets more done with easy-to-create workflows, PowerApps, audit trails and enterprise-level security (features that basic accounting software can’t provide).

Providing an end-to-end view of your business
Centralise your data from accounting, sales and purchasing, inventory and customer interactions to get an accurate end-to-end view of your business. All data stays up-to-date so you can spot trends, prevent issues, and deliver great customer experiences

Enabling mobility

Empowers a mobile workforce by delivering the same experience across devices, regardless of users’ location.

Explore your options when replacing finance software

Now you know you need a new solution, what questions should you be asking your potential partner? Helping you evaluate each vendor you meet with, here are a few questions you should consider asking:

  • How easy is the solution to learn and use?
  • How will it integrate with our existing systems and applications?
  • If we deploy in the cloud, do we retain control over our data?
  • How often do you provide product updates and can we control when the updates are deployed?
  • What will my ongoing price be after the initial contract timeframe expires?
  • How easily can I add or remove users, and how is that reflected in my pricing?
  • What is your track record for service support after the sale?
  • Who do you have locally that can help us with implementation and ongoing support when needed?

Why choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

integrated systemsBusiness Central (BC) is a business management solution that’s connecting people and processes like never before. From day one, BC makes ordering, selling, invoicing and reporting quicker and easier.

Turning your multiple disconnected systems into one, you can boost efficiency with integration with familiar Office tools like Outlook (Word and Excel).

Only Microsoft delivers a connected technology platform bringing together business applications with tools for productivity, communication and collaboration.

Microsoft business solutions deliver insight across your devices, as well as helping you:

Connect your business

  • Deploy one solution to manage your financials, sales, services and operations with the ability to connect applications like payroll, banking apps, CRM systems or custom APIs
  • Outlook isn’t just for email and calendars anymore. Now you can go from quote to cash without switching applications. Set up customers or vendors, create quotes, process orders and submit invoices without leaving your inbox. Easily export data and create outgoing documents directly in Word and Excel.
  • Easily and cost effectively extend BC to fit your industry or business needs with integrated add-on applications and/or the Microsoft Power Platform.

Make better business decisions

  • Centralise your data from accounting, sales and purchasing, inventory and customer interactions to get an accurate end-to-end view of your business. All data stays up to date so you can spot trends, prevent issues, and deliver great customer experience
  • Keep people informed with easy-to-share reports including key performance indicators (KPIs), inventory, sales and order status
  • Empower users to create self-serve reports from trusted data sources for faster, more informed decision-making
  • Access, model, and analyse data across multiple dimensions to perform ad hoc, customised reporting
  • Use Microsoft Power BI to create highly compelling dashboards, and to infuse big data, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things to transform data into actionable intelligence.

Start and grow easily

  • Handle the most common business processes from day one, like quotes, orders, invoicing, purchasing, cash management, and reporting
  • Has the same familiar interface as the Microsoft stack you already know, like Outlook, Word and Excel. A comprehensive yet easy-to-use solution means less training time and quicker adoption for employees
  • Get the powerful desktop capabilities you need across Windows, iOS and Android platforms
  • Desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, you get one UX that’s consistent and secure
  • Start with only what you need and grow at your own pace, using flexible applications you can easily adapt to change and manage growth.

Working locally to help you with your implementation and offer ongoing support when needed, get in touch with TVision to find out how we and Microsoft Dynamics can help you.

 

 

 

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